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Utah’s housing boom in full swing

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-21 00:21:51-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- If you are in the market to sell or buy a house, now’s the time to do it.

According to the Utah Housing Corporation, 2013’s home sales numbers hit record highs, bringing the real estate market close to the levels seen in 2007 before the financial crisis.

“I’m used to selling a home in 90 days or less, not 3 weeks or less,” said Salt Lake Realtor Rachel Green.

Utah’s housing boom is in full swing. According to the Utah Housing Corporation, 2013 saw a 16 percent home sales increase from the year before.

Grant S. Whitaker, President and CEO of Utah Housing Corporation, described the market conditions.

“There are single family, there are condominiums, there are existing homes, and newly constructed homes,” he said. “The preponderance is for single family detached homes and the existing market as well.”

FOX 13 News spoke with Alyssa Firszt, who sold her home in November.

“We put it on the market on Thursday, and we had an offer on Sunday,” she said. “We sort of imagined putting it up on the market and maybe taking it down over the holidays and putting it back up in March because we know that this is a better time to sell your house - so we were a little bit surprised--but we did want to sell the house, so we were happy.”

On the flip side, home buyer Joni Koncar hasn’t been acting fast enough when finding a home she likes.

“Our realtor called us and said two of the houses that we were going to go and look at had already gone under contract, and that was within 24 hours after we looked at them the first time,” Koncar said.

Green said it is not normal for homes to fly off the market in a matter of days. According to Green, the winning formula for home sales is inventory, demand and pricing.

“The demand is much greater than the inventory in the Salt Lake market, so if the home is priced accordingly, the condition is right, it’s going to sell within a matter of days," she said.

Green said it’s rare, but what we are seeing now is actually both a buyer and seller’s market. Buyers are still getting low interest rates and home prices have not skyrocketed just yet. Sellers with homes in good condition that are priced well will sell quickly.

Officials with the Utah Housing Corporation said homes under half a million dollars are selling the fastest right now. Green said she’s seeing homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 range selling very fast.